Marching On Together with Kayleigh R Bradshaw.
It started by me watching the news every morning, I mean been a female in a barbershop I needed something to talk about! I started in a barbershop, run by men, and filled with men when I was about 18. All I was interested in was nights out, fake tan and fake eyelashes…
I was hardly going to entertain a room full of men with my interests, so I decided to start watching the news and actually learning about what was going on in the world. It worked for a while, at least for the boring set of clients… I say boring I mean intelligent, businessmen I have nothing in common with.
Then there was the other set of men, rugby playing, beer drinking, serial dating, jack-the-lads’ men who just so happened to be rather good looking too! What on earth was I going to talk to these guys about without making a twat out of myself!
Nether the less, I still grew a clientele, a couple of haircuts and they were returning clients. I never realised how often some men (especially the ‘other set of men’) had their hair cut. Some guys came once every 2 weeks!
One Friday afternoon in my old barbershop, I had a few lads from the same friendship group booked in with me. Quite a compliment really considering I’d not cut their hair before, but one of their friends had had his hair cut and they clearly liked it!
“Now then Love, you must be Kayleigh” Said the one of the lads with his local York accent.
“I am, nice to meet you, three of you booked in yeah?” I asked.
“Yeah, that’s right. I’m gonna go first, got to get back to work. It’s Jamie” He replied.
“Sound, take a seat” I spun my chair around.
“I saw Ryan’s cut, it was a great trim, so we all thought we’d booked in with you ready for the weekend.” He smiled.
“Ah, thank you! Glad you liked it, it’s always good to see the work for yourself! So, what’s your weekend plans?”
That was the one of the five-question rules – the five question rules of the barbershop…
- How are you/How are you today?
- Where you from? Around the area?
- What do you do for work?
- What are you doing today?
- What are your weekend plans?
It’s like an unwritten rule, you ask these five questions and if you don’t get much back, you know they don’t want to talk! That wasn’t the case this day though.
“We’re going to the Leeds game tomorrow love” Jamie answered me.
“ALL LEEDS ARE WE!” His mates sang behind us on the waiting area.
I raised my eyebrows and gave them a polite confused smile.
“You don’t follow football then?” He asked.
“I like football” I lied, whilst I realised, they must have been chanting a football song.
They all sniggered, they knew I was lying, I had no idea about football, nor this song they were chanting but that night I did go home and turn on sky sports…
There was something that would more than likely get 80% of the barbershop talking – football! So the following day, I told the girls to meet me at a sports bar rather than a cocktail bar…
It went down like a led balloon, the girls all dressed up for a Saturday night in town didn’t fit so well in this sports bar, this place was very trainers and pint kind of place – which worked amazing for me! I rocked up in my favourite adidas dress with my favourite pair of matching trainers, the girls however came in their usual attire of heels and dresses just covering their bum cheeks, not that the guys in there were complaining!
No, the only complaining was coming from the girls who hated football…
I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t understand it, my family had never been big on sports, plus I was a chubby, chavvy teenager at school that never went to PE, so again no sports knowledge, however…
There I was, sat in a pub full of men, screaming and chanting at the game, beer been thrown everywhere, unlimited chicken wings to order, a smoking area full of more fans who were singing even louder to the screens outside, and I LOVED IT!
The passion, the atmosphere, the love for this game was incredible! Everybody talking about the game together, people talking to me about the game, people kindly educating me on the game! All that socializing I’d not even realised the girls had gone, nor did I give a shit! This was my kind of night out!
From that day forward I watched every Leeds game, bought every new shirt, even attended most games at the famous Elland Road, I absolutely love it. I watch most football games, every weekend and even travelled around Europe to watch a few games!
All thanks to my awkward teen years struggling to talk to men! It’s amazing how you find your interests and hobbies over the years!
A famous Leeds United quote – Marching on Together!!!
That’s my aim! As a community, I want us all to March on Together, even if we don’t support the same football club… we can support each other for better mental health!
How many of my readers are football fans? More importantly how many of my readers are Leeds United fans? What a season it has been! Finishing 9th place in our first year back in the premier league and to see Kalvin Phillips playing for England this year is amazing!!
Use the comments box to chat with me! We can talk sport, Football, better mental health, or we can just have a chat!